• – Emissions;
  • landfill body;
  • leachate;
  • lignite ash;
  • long-term behaviour;
  • pollution potential;
  • waste composition

The pollution potential of old municipal landfills of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) is not as bad as expected, even taking into consideration that most lack environmental protection systems. Compared with specific conditions in the former GDR (such as production and consumption), the disposal of waste and the long-term behaviour of landfills clearly differs from that in the old German federal states. Low quantities of deposited waste created slowly growing landfills, and therefore led to rapid degradation processes still in the aerobic milieu. As a result of the increasing similarity of waste quantities and composition in the new and old federal states after 1990, waste deposited today can be expected to have similar long-term behaviour and emissions as existing old Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) landfills which were operating during the 1970s and 1980s.